Miami Beach commissioners approve density bonus in South of Fifth
Legislation aims to incentivize property owners to convert hotels into residential buildings
In Miami Beach’s South of Fifth neighborhood, more density is the carrot. And three hotel owners are the rabbits.
And at least one of those hospitality landlords, an affiliate of Miami-based Key International, is eyeing that carrot.
The Miami Beach City Commission on Wednesday approved a measure that would encourage South of Fifth hotel owners to redevelop their properties into condominiums or multifamily projects. By agreeing to convert their land from transient uses such as hotels, hostels and short-term rentals to residential use, the owners would get an increase in the allowable floor area ratio, or FAR, to 2.75 from 2.0, according to a city memo.
Key International, led by Diego Ardid, owns the Marriott Stanton South Beach at 161 Ocean Drive, through its affiliate Komar Investments, records show. The Key International affiliate is interested in exploring possible redevelopment of the 224-room hotel and taking advantage of the density bonus, said Christopher Penelas, an attorney for the hotel owner.
“We have been having conversations with the South of Fifth neighborhood on what that may look like,” Penelas said. “I would assume [Key International] would follow through with a condo due to the market and the goals of the legislation.”
The legislation, sponsored by Miami Beach city commissioner Alex Fernandez, was mandated by Miami Beach residents. In November, 66 percent of voters approved a referendum directing the city to enact the legislation.
In order to receive the density bonus, property owners must pledge that any new projects will not allow rentals shorter than six months.
The new measure also impacts two other hotels, The Hilton Bentley Miami/South Beach at 101 Ocean Drive and the Savoy Hotel & Beach Club at 455 Ocean Drive. Gatineau, Quebec-based Heafey Group owns the hotel portion of the 110-unit Hilton Bentley condo-hotel, and New York-based Allied Partners owns the 75-key Savoy, records show.
Heafey and Allied have not expressed any interest in redeveloping the two hotels, according to a city memo.